All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 9/19/16
Copyright 2016

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

A fall American Goldfinch. It’s lost its bright yellow breeding plumage. There are flocks of them around the park. At Turtle Cove recently, I saw a flock of them, all looked like hatch birds, they were still somewhat bright.

This Common Yellowthroat appears to be a young bird. Perhaps a young male that has not yet developed its mask. I can see faint black beginning to form.

Peregrine Falcon bathing in a puddle in the Orchard Beach Parking lot.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for

Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!


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There was a bit of drama as this Herring Gull tried to steal a fish the Osprey caught. The Herring Gull was relentless and attacked the Osprey, as the Osprey lifted off.  As you can see from the sequence, the Osprey was able to hold on to the fish and the gull gave up after a couple of tries. The Osprey flew across the lagoon and landed in a tree, victorious.

                                 The Fall Migration is on but....

The Fall migration is on. Migrating birds are being seen in Central and Prospect Park but not much here. As I mentioned in other posts, we’re usually a couple of weeks behind. I was out in the park three times this week and it remains slow. In the meantime, I was standing at the Orchard Beach lagoon with a bunch of other birders and it was somewhat productive. We saw two Bald Eagles, five Peregrine Falcons, perhaps fourteen or more Osprey, one Coopers Hawk and some wading birds. Winds were blowing from the wrong direction that morning, SE if I remember correctly. We need those NW winds to bring migratory birds into our park. If we get a prediction before the weekend I will call for a walk. We can do either a hawk-watch at the lagoon or venture into Hunter Island for warblers and other passerines.

In 2012 we had an irruption of Pine Siskins in our area. This was one near the Orchard Beach lagoon.